Berlin Calls For Retaliation Against ‘Illegal’ US Sanctions On Russia

The Reichstag building © Tobias Schwarz / Reuters

By Staff of RT – New penalties against Moscow proposed by US lawmakers violate international law and officials in Brussels should consider countermeasures, the German economy minister said on Monday. “We consider this as being against international law, plain and simple,”Brigitte Zypries told the Funke Mediengruppe newspaper chain. “Of course we don’t want a trade war. But it is important the European Commission now looks into countermeasures,” she added. According to the minister, “the Americans can not punish German companies because they operate economically in another country.” Last week, both chambers of the US Congress decided to impose new sanctions against Russia over its Crimea reunification and alleged meddling in US elections. The bill has still to be signed by US President Donald Trump. This is the first time Washington has made a move against Moscow without European consent. The bill appears to target Russia’s Nord Stream-2 pipeline that will deliver natural gas from Russia to Germany. The proposed expansion would double the existing pipeline’s capacity and make Germany EU’s main energy hub. The legislation seeks to introduce individual sanctions for contributing in Russian energy projects and targets major sectors of Russia’s economy, including defense, railway, and banking industries.

Some Americans Do Love Their Health Care (They’re Expats)

Luisa Weiss, the Wednesday chef, took to social media to discuss health care and how different it is in Germany and the US. Source: Luisa Weiss

By Allison Williams for Handelsblatt – Luisa Weiss is a German-American writer about food and culture who lives in Berlin and has a cult following for her recipes for bagels, cinnamon buns and chocolate-chip cookies, which usually combine her American, Italian and German heritage. Earlier this year she had a baby by caesarian section. First the baby arrived, then the bill — and she was shocked, in a good way. In the United States the procedure would have cost insurers $50,000; in Germany, it cost $3,000. “There’s nothing like major surgery and a week of recovery in the hospital to reinforce how lucky I feel to live in a country where affordable and good-quality health care for all is a given,” she wrote in a blog post that earned a torrent of ‘likes’. Ms. Weiss’ comments — she also posted a photo of the hospital bill on Instagram — added fuel to the never-ending debate about health care on either side of the Atlantic. US-based mothers responded, one writing that she had been discharged from hospital two days after having a C-section. “It was brutal coming home and not having the nursing care. Germany has got it right when it comes to maternity health care,” another mom said. In Germany, health-care coverage is mandatory, based on an insurance system that is founded on solidarity and mutual support.

G20 In Hamburg – Pathetic

Jonny White/flickr/CC

By Staff of NatWiss – One day after and some rest one may finally ask the question what did the summit achieve for whom politically? This is the attempt approaching the reality of the G20 summit. It will name the deeply undemocratic and aggressive behavior of the police, the impressive and courageous protest, and the outstanding demonstration of the 76,000 as well as the condemnable actions of the criminal mob. We will learn how many provocateurs were involved. An independent commission is highly needed. What were the political and material results of the G20 summit? The costs: the official costs of 130 Million Euros have long been exceeded. The figure of 300 Million Euro is closer to the reality.

German Police Disperse G20 Protest With Water Cannon Before Summit

Participants perform during the so called '1000 Figures' demonstration before the upcoming G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, July 5, 2017. REUTERS/Hannibal Hanschke

By Chris Stern, Hannibal Hanschke, Joseph Nasr and Raissa Kasolowsky for Reuters – German police used water cannon to disperse around 500 anti-capitalist protesters overnight in the port city of Hamburg where Chancellor Angela Merkel will host leaders of the G20 leading economies in a two-day summit starting on Friday. Tens of thousands of protesters are expected to march in the city this week against globalization and what they say is corporate greed and a failure to tackle climate change. German authorities believe around 8,000 demonstrators were prepared to use violence, the interior minister said on Tuesday. Some 20,000 police officers will be deployed. Hundreds of mainly young left-wing activists gathered and marched on a main street shortly before midnight on Tuesday in the first major protest ahead of the summit, which will be attended by U.S. President Donald Trump, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan. Der Spiegel magazine reported that the Germany army fears protesters will use unarmed drones and that it has deployed a radar to locate any possible aerial intrusions.

‘We’ve Made History’: Ireland Joins France, Germany And Bulgaria In Banning Fracking​

Hildegarde Naughton, TD for Galway West

By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – McLoughlin also issued a statement that mentioned the impact of fracking in the U.S.: This law will mean communities in the West and North West of Ireland will be safeguarded from the negative effects of hydraulic fracking. Counties such as Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon, Donegal, Cavan, Monaghan and Clare will no longer face negative effects like those seen in cities and towns in the United States, where many areas have now decided to implement similar bans to the one before us. If fracking was allowed to take place in Ireland and Northern Ireland it would pose significant threats to the air, water and the health and safety of individuals and communities here. Fracking must be seen as a serious public health and environmental concern for Ireland. Environmental group Friends of the Earth Ireland celebrated the bill’s passage. “A day to celebrate. A day for #ClimatePride. The Irish parliament has passed a law to #BanFracking.

Rights Group Asks Germany To Arrest CIA Deputy Director

This file photo provided by U.S. Central Command, shows Abu Zubaydah, date and location unknown. The European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights, a non-profit group, is handing a legal submission to German federal prosecutors seeking an arrest warrant for CIA deputy director Gina Haspel over claims she oversaw the torture of detainees like Abu Zubaydah. (U.S. Central Command via AP) THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

By Frank Jordans for Associated Press – BERLIN (AP) — A civil rights group is asking German authorities to issue an arrest warrant for the recently appointed deputy director of the CIA over claims she oversaw the torture of terrorism suspects 15 years ago. The nonprofit European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights submitted a legal brief to German federal prosecutors Tuesday, alleging that Gina Haspel allowed the waterboarding of prisoners at a secret U.S. detention center in Thailand. The prosecutor’s office confirmed Wednesday the complaint had been received and was being reviewed. Similar complaints against senior U.S. officials in the past haven’t resulted in arrest warrants. Advocates describe waterboarding as a form of “enhanced interrogation.” Critics say it amounts to torture, because prisoners are made to feel they are drowning. Haspel was the first female career CIA officer selected to be deputy director in February . The submission by the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights — seen by The Associated Press — centers mainly on the case of Abu Zubaydah…

Germany Breaks Record: 85% Of Energy Comes From Renewables Last Weekend

Screenshot 2017-05-09 at 4.31.00 PM

By Lorraine Chow for Eco Watch – “Most of Germany’s coal-fired power stations were not even operating on Sunday, April 30th,” Patrick Graichen of Agora Energiewende told RenewEconomy. “Nuclear power sources, which are planned to be completely phased out by 2022, were also severely reduced.” Graichen added that days like Sunday would be “completely normal” by 2030 thanks to the government’s continued investment in the Energiewende initiative. Following the Fukushima disaster in Japan, Germany announced in May 2011 that it plans to phase out nuclear and shut down all its nuclear power plants by 2022. That Sunday, nuclear power plants reduced their output from 7.9 to 5 gigawatts. Germany’s ambitious energy transition aims for at least an 80 percent share of renewables by 2050, with intermediate targets of 35 to 40 percent share by 2025 and 55 to 60 percent by 2035.

US Citizens To Join Protests Of US Nuclear Weapons Deployed In Germany

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By John Laforge for Counter Punch – Blockaders cover the Front Gate at the Luftwaffe’s Buchel Air Base in Germany, which deploys and trains to use up to 20 U.S. B61 hydrogen bombs on Germany’s Tornado jet fighters. On March 26, nuclear disarmament activists in Germany will launch a 20-week-long series of nonviolent protests at the Luftwaffe’s Büchel Air Base, Germany, demanding the withdrawal of 20 U.S. nuclear weapons still deployed there. The actions will continue through August 9, the anniversary of the US atomic bombing of Nagasaki, Japan in 1945. For the first time in the 20-year-long campaign to rid Büchel of the U.S. bombs…

German Intel Clears Russia On Interference

Russia Putin Didn't Do It

By Ray McGovern for Consortium News. After a multi-month, politically charged investigation, German intelligence agencies could find no good evidence of Moscow-directed cyber-attacks or a disinformation campaign aimed at subverting the democratic process in Germany. Undaunted, Chancellor Angela Merkel has commissioned a new investigation. President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) President Barack Obama talks with German Chancellor Angela Merkel at the G7 Summit at Schloss Elmau in Bavaria, Germany, June 8, 2015. (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza) Like the vast majority of Americans malnourished on “mainstream media,” most Germans have been led to believe that, by hacking and “propaganda,” the Kremlin interfered in the recent U.S. election and helped Donald Trump become president.Last year, Berlin’s two main intelligence agencies, the BND and BfV (counterparts of the CIA and FBI) launched a joint investigation to substantiate allegations that Russia was meddling in German political affairs and attempting to shape the outcome of Germany’s elections next September.

German Push To Ban Combustion-Engine Cars By 2030 Wins Support

Flickr/ Adobe Stock

By Edward Taylor and Mark Heinrich – A proposal to stop sales of new combustion-engine cars by 2030 has gained cross-party support in Germany’s Bundesrat, the country’s upper house of parliament, Der Spiegel reported. German lawmakers should urge their counterparts in Brussels to push incentives for only zero-emission vehicles to be registered by 2030, the weekly news magazine said, citing a decision taken in a Bundesrat meeting.

Hundreds Of Thousands March In Germany Against TTIP, CETA

Consumer rights activists take part in a march to protest against the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) in Frankfurt, Germany, September 17, 2016. (Photo: Reuters/Kai Pfaffenbach)

By Jon Queally for Common Dreams – Taking aim at both the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) and theComprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), European Union deals with the United States and Canada respectively, opponents say the agreements are not really concerned with expanding trade but rather increasing corporate power. “CETA and TTIP threaten environmental and consumer protection for millions of people in Europe and North America,” said Jennifer Morgan, co-executive director of Greenpeace International.

‘Blockupy’ Protesters Descend On Berlin

Blockupy Reuters

By Staff for DW. “Blockupy” is back, demonstrating against austerity, consumerism, and the plight of refugees in Germany. Supporters could be seen all over Berlin demanding a more egalitarian approach to integration and economic policy. Anti-capitalism protesters of the “Blockupy” movement took to the streets of Berlin on Friday to protest the policies of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs. Although there were 50 arrests and a brief scuffle in which some demonstrators threw rocks at officers, authorities categorized the atmosphere as largely calm. The collective has its origins in Frankfurt in 2012, where protesters began to gather regularly outside the European Central Bank (ECB) and takes its name from the Occupy movement that took place on New York City’s Wall Street.

TTIP Has Failed – But No One Is Admitting It, Says German Vice-Chancellor

Protesters rally against the TTIP and CETA free trade agreements, April 2016 Getty

By Alexandra Sims, Jon Stonem for the Independent. The free trade negotiations between the European Union and the United States have failed, but “nobody is really admitting it”, Germany’s Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel has said. Talks over the so-called Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, also known as TTIP, have made little progress in recent years. The 14th round of negotiations between American and EU officials took place in Brussels in July. It was the third round in six months. At the time, the talks were thought to be in trouble after a number of leading European politicians expressed concern about TTIP’s effects and the US’s reluctance to accept changes to the proposed deal. In May, cracks emerged when France threatened to block the deal. President Hollande said he would “never accept” the deal in its current guise because of the rules it enforces on France and the rest of Europe – particularly in relation to farming and culture – claiming they are too friendly to US businesses. “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets,” Mr Hollande is reported as saying at a meeting of left-wing politicians in Paris

Germany Calls Out US For Warmongering & Saber Rattling With Russia

Soldiers demonstrate their skills during a military police exercise before the NATO summit in July in Warsaw, at the PGE National Stadium in Warsaw, Poland May 24, 2016.
REUTERS/KACPER PEMPEL/FILE PHOTO

By Matt Agorist for The Free Thought Project – While NATO is touting this move as training, the Russians are calling it the “summer of provocation,” and a move to reignite the Cold War intended to force Moscow to starve its domestic economy to ramp up its military to meet a growing external threat. Russia is not alone in their assertion either. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier told Bild am Sonntag newspaper this week that these ostensible ‘war games’ are little more than warmongering.

Anti-Drone Rally At US Air Base Ramstein Draws thousands

Drone Protest in Germany June 11, 2016

By DW.com. Around 5,000 peace activists protested the use of the Ramstein facility in southwestern Germany for the US-led drone war. A nine-kilometer (5.5-mile) human chain was later formed to demand limits on the use of the base. Among those taking part in Saturday’s protest was former German Finance Minister Oskar Lafontaine, who said the US drone program contravenes international law. He also hit out at the German government’s silence on the use of drones from Ramstein, saying it was “schizophrenic” that Berlin is generous to refugees but then gives its support to wars waged by the US.